Altan are a six piece group from Donegal fronted by the two fiddlers Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh and Ciaran Tourish.
They opened the concert with “Dark Haired Lass” before being joined on stage by The Henry Girls – three sisters also from Donegal who sang and played to a traditional tune they called “My Love”.
Next onto the rapidly filling stage were the three Friel Sisters from Glasgow who sang “Free and Easy” and also the Dublin fiddler Paddy Glackin joined them too.
Altan then continued with “Comb your Hair & Curl It” and the “Gweebarra Bridge”.
In the second half they opened with the “Blackest Crow” taken from their latest album The Poison Glen quickly followed by “John Docherty”s Reels.” They were accompanied on the piano by Triona Ni Dhomhnaill. And the final guest was our own Karen Matheson.
The final songs included “Donal Agus Morag” and “Dun Do Shuil” which Mairead had written for her daughter. It was a good concert though not as busy as some of the others and may have benefited more from a smaller venue like the City Halls as a lot of the pieces they played were quite haunting and intimate.
N.B. I wasn”t able to get all of the tunes and songs played as many were
performed in the traditional Irish Gaelic – not a strong point of mine!